2nd & 3rd April
“Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.”
2 Corinthians 11:24-25
The death of many of Jesus’ disciples has long been a talking point for Christian’s and non-Christians alike. Although there are not many ‘full and detailed’ stories of their deaths in the Bible, we can from historical documentation know how some of them died. Take Peter for example; many say that he did not feel worthy of dying the same way as Jesus, so he asked to be crucified upside down. Other disciples were either stoned, beaten to death and some even be-headed. The one account in the Bible, is of James, John’s brother, killed by the sword as described in Acts 12 verse 2. The Apostle Paul also talks of his many beatings and close encounters with death found in 2 Corinthians 11. So what makes what Jesus did so important, if many other people suffered the same fate as Him, or even worse physical pain?
It is the fact that on Him, lay every sin we have ever done and will ever do. As Peter says in his letter found in 1 Peter 2:24, “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.” That is the key. It is by His wounds that we find complete spiritual and physical healing. It is because an innocent man’s blood paid the price for our guilty sins. As nobel as the other disciple’s deaths were, their deaths were not to pay for our sins. Only Jesus’ was.
Even more incredible, is that Jesus didn’t stay dead. He rose again and by doing so, defeated sin and death once and for all. He destroyed the power of death, He destroyed the power of the enemy, and He once and for all, made it possible that we can be completely forgiven for our sins. It was Jesus that had to die for us, suffer for us and be resurrected for us. And it is only through Jesus’ death and resurrection that we have victory.